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Advisory Board

Sandra Deal, Atlanta Chair Sandra Deal has centered her life around matters involving family and children in her roles as mother, grandmother, teacher, and volunteer in her church. Mrs. Deal, like her husband, was born to parents who both chose teaching as a profession. Graduating from what is now Georgia College State University in Milledgeville, Mrs. Deal followed in the footsteps of her parents and became a teacher.

Mrs. Deal often says, "As a teacher, I didn't just teach to one child. I taught every student in the class" and that is Sandra Deal's approach to her platform as First Lady, "With a Servant's Heart". Volunteerism, community involvement and outreach are the foundation of "With a Servant's Heart". "When we reach out to become involved in helping mold a new beginning for another person, we bring hope for that individual and we in turn receive joy. My goal is that every Georgian, no matter the background or circumstance, finds a way to serve others. I believe that a person's actions speak louder than their words. When someone gives freely of their time and their resources, they are truly living life "With a Servant's Heart."

Mrs. Deal was born in Gainesville, Ga. As a student at what was then called Georgia State College for Women, a friend set her up on a blind date with a college student from nearby Mercer University, the future Governor Nathan Deal. The Deals have been married for 45 years and have four grown children and six grandchildren and are members of First Baptist Church in Gainesville.


Andrew "Andy" B. Barclay, Atlanta Barclay and his wife, Michelle, are founders of the Barton Clinic, a partnership program with Emory University School of Law that strives to encourage students from all fields to pursue public-interest careers. He also co-founded Fostering Court Improvement, a non-profit that works with juvenile courts to measure and improve outcomes for children and families. He also works as a full-time volunteer technical consultant to many of Georgia's non-profit and governmental agencies. Barclay earned a bachelor's degree from Tulane University, master's degrees from Stanford University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and is pursuing a doctoral degree from Emory University. The Barclays have one child.


John C. Bowden, Forsyth, Youth Representative Bowden is currently an administrative assistant for ERA Connie R. Ham Middle Georgia Realty. He was a SAT Scholar Student, the founder and past president of Interact and served as projects chairman of Future Teachers of America at Mary Persons High School. Bowden was a member of the National Beta Club and was named in Who's Who Among American High School Students. He was a member of the board of directors for the Monroe County Relay for Life and served on the Georgia Department of Education's Student Advisory Council. Bowden is an honor graduate of Mary Persons High School and will attend the University of Georgia in the fall.


Sheriff Tim Burkhalter Burkhalter was elected sheriff of Floyd County in November 2004. He has served with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department for 28 years. He was one of the original organizers of the Cops for Kids program which raises funds for special needs children. He was also instrumental in the organization of the Floyd County Bomb Squad. Burkhalter studied Criminal Justice at Jacksonville State University and is a certified P.O.S.T. Instructor. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Sheriff’s Youth Homes. He is a certified bomb technician and fugitive investigator. He and his wife, Stephanie, have four children. They reside in Lindale.



Gaylyn L. Cole, Forsyth Cole is a resource teacher in the Great Leaps Program at Stratford Academy in Macon. She has 16 years of educational experience in public and private schools. She is a member of the Forsyth Woman's Club and a 2005 graduate of Leadership Georgia. Cole earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia and a master's degree from Georgia Southwestern University. She and her husband, Jim, have two children.


Representative Katie Dempsey Dempsey currently serves as a state representative for the 13th District. She is chairman of the Appropriations Human Resources Subcommittee. She has previously served as a member of the majority caucus whip team and as chief deputy whip. In addition to her House leadership positions, Dempsey serves as a member of the First Lady’s Georgia Children’s Cabinet, as the vice chairman of the Joint House & Senate Study Committee on Mental Health Access, as well as on the Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities Coordinating Council and the Recreational Authorities Overview Committee. She and her husband, Lynn, have two children and five grandchildren. They reside in Rome.



Michelle R. Girtman, Hazlehurst Girtman is the executive director of The Haven Battered Women's Shelter, Inc. and the Magnolia House Shelter for Abused Persons. She is the chairperson for the Department of Human Services Domestic Violence Advisory Board and is a member of the Georgia Commission on Family Violence. She also serves on the FEMA board for Lowndes County. She and her husband, John, have four children and are custodial parents to three children.


Deborah Johnson Johnson is co-owner of Beasley Timber Co. in Hazlehurst. She is active in her community through the Sunday School ministry of her local church and as a volunteer at her children’s school. Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Brewton Parker College in 1989 while graduating Summa Cum Laude. She and her husband, Zachary, have three children. They reside in Hazlehurst.


Mika Kawana, Atlanta Kawana is a Manager of Corporate Affairs for Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE). She is a former member of the finance committee of the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors. Kawana previously served as Finance Director for the Georgia Republican Party for over six years as well as Regional Director for the Georgia Republican Party in Fulton and DeKalb counties during the 2006 election. She also worked in the Finance Department for the Georgia Inaugural 2007. Kawana earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia. 


Lisa Ann Kinchen Kinchen is the publisher and editor of Southern Journal Magazine. Previously, she served as a board member for Speedway Children’s Charities, Leadership Henry, Youth Leadership Henry, Haven House, and Prevent Child Abuse. She currently serves on the Piedmont-Henry Foundation Board and is a member of Eagles Landing First Baptist Church. Kinchen attended both Troy State University and Auburn University. She has one child and resides in Locust Grove.



Shaquita S. Ogletree, Clarkston, Youth Representative Ogletree is an after-school counselor with the City of Decatur Children and Youth Services. She is active with Georgia EmpowerMEnt. She is also an AmeriCorps Alum and a Foster Care of America Alum. Ogletree earned a bachelor's degree from Howard University.



Linda H. Parker, Woodstock Parker serves as coordinator for the Coverdell Leadership Institute and is vice president of the Cherokee County Advocacy Council. She is the former vice president of C-Med/Dove, Inc. and is active in Habitat for Humanity, the Boys and Girls Club, Must Ministries, and the American Red Cross. Parker earned a bachelor's degree from Doane College and attended the Victory Bible Institute in Oklahoma. She and her husband, Kenneth, have three children and six grandchildren.



J. Eugene Gene Pope Pope is a member of the Georgia Sheriffs' Association, the National Sheriffs' Association, and the American Polygraph Association. He is also active with the Butts County Rotary Club and the Jackson High School Booster Club. Pope earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Patricia, have three children and two grandchildren.


Daniel "Dan" J. Provence, Bainbridge Provence is the community chair for the Decatur County Family Connection Collaborative and volunteers as executive director of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) of Southwest Georgia, a non-profit organization that trains and manages court appointed volunteers who advocate for abused or neglected children in court. He is also the chief executive officer and broker of United Country-Provence Realty. Provence is the former president of the Kiwanis Club of Bainbridge and served as lieutenant governor for Division Five of the Georgia District of Kiwanis. He also served on the Judicial Citizens Review Panel and has received the Kiwanian of the Year award and the YMCA Volunteer of the Year award. Provence earned his degree from Bainbridge College. He and his wife, Bonnie, have two children.



Michele H. Smith, Pine Mountain Smith is a former teacher and parental involvement coordinator at Park Elementary School in Hamilton, Georgia. She has served her field in a number of different capacities over her 20-year career in addition to serving her community, most recently as a member of the Board of Governors for the Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum. Smith has also been involved with the Chamber of Commerce and Child Abuse Council in Harris County. In 2007 she was appointed to U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson's Education Advisory School Board. Smith and her husband, Vance, have three children.


Gi’Nia Stone, Youth Representative Stone currently serves as the Executive Assistant and Social Media Administrator for The Orange Duffel Bag Initiative, a non-profit organization centered in providing support and life skills to foster youth and homeless teens. She graduated third in her class from Therrell High School of Health Science and Research. She went on to Agnes Scott College to pursue a degree in neuroscience. She is a mentor and motivational speaker for youth speaking on such topics as self-esteem, college preparation, career planning, self-respect, goal setting, domestic violence, and time management. She resides in Atlanta.


Judge Steve C. Teske, Jonesboro Teske is a judge of the Juvenile Court of Clayton County, where he has served since 1999. He served as chief of the Atlanta parole district and deputy director of field services for the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles. He was a trial attorney and partner in the law firm of Boswell & Teske, where he also served as special assistant attorney general. He is president of the Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges, the Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity, and the Southlake Kiwanis. He serves on the Department of Juvenile Justice Advisory Council, is a member of the Federal Advisory Committee for Juvenile Justice, and serves on the board of trustees of the Good Shepherd Clinic. Teske earned an associate's degree from Clayton State College and University and a bachelor's, master's and law degree from Georgia State University. He and his wife, Sheryl, have five children.


Senator Renee Unterman Unterman currently serves a state senator representing the 45th District. She is a former mayor of Loganville and a former Gwinnett County commissioner. She serves as chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, vice chairman of Senate Appropriations, and chair of the Lake Lanier Caucus. Unterman earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and a nursing degree from Georgia State University. She and her husband, Phil, reside in Buford.


Board Expense Forms:

Travel Expense Form
Hotel-Motel Tax Exemption Form